It’s no secret that the financial industry has evolved leaps and bounds over the last few decades. We’ve said “so long!” to the days where clients look to financial professionals just to help them pick and choose stocks on their behalf. Nor do people want to be sold products just for the sake of having a financial plan.
No, clients today are looking for genuine financial partners to help them strategize and make sound financial decisions that propel them forward to their personal goals.
Put simply, they want a savvy advocate in their corner who is helping them live their best life!
As a financial planner in 2021, this is a remarkable opportunity to directly transform people’s day-to-day living outside of portfolio management. Your days can be filled with numerous services that help your clients reach their specific goals -- whether that’s saving for their child’s college education, paying off their mortgage, or spending several weeks a year traveling the world.
With this in mind, let’s go over some specific services you can offer to clients and how you can set it up systematically so that you’re reviewing things on a regular basis.
For clients who may need some extra hand-holding while paying down debt or getting a handle on overspending, it can be beneficial to have monthly check-ins to help keep them on track.
Ideally this is done only for a short period of time. However, it can be of great value for those clients who are adopting new money habits.
Maybe you’re not the next Hemingway...but with newsletters, you don’t have to be! Sending a concise yet regular newsletter is a smart way to reach all of your clients quickly with useful information.
I recommend quarterly as a frequency, but monthly is definitely an option if in fact you do like to write (and you or someone on your team has the time).
You can include:
- Updates on the stock market
- Information on current events that may be impacting how your clients feel about their financial life
- Quick money tips/facts
- Updates in legislations (like 401(k)/IRA contribution changes)
- Tech tips for them to get the most out of your online tools
Retirement Account Advice
For clients with illiquid assets, you can offer quarterly reviews on things like 401(k)s, 403(b)s, ESOPs, etc., to ensure their portfolios are staying balanced and fees are kept low.
Lunch & Learns
While a newsletter can help you share general information with all of your clients, quarterly meetings like Lunch & Learns are terrific in allowing you to focus on one key topic.
One of the big wins with this approach is that clients can actively participate by asking questions in real-time.
You can cover topics like:
- Education savings accounts for clients’ children
- Estate planning documents clients need to have
- Getting the most out of services
- Online fraud prevention (when I was a paraplanner, our firm held a really informative get-together with retirees on this topic that clients loved!)
Employee Benefits Review
Oh, the joys of health insurance open enrollment season! As your clients’ financial lives become more complex, they could greatly benefit from having another set of eyes on their employee benefit selections.
You can help them decide if an HSA or FSA makes sense for them, how their premiums impact cash flow needs, or whether they’re still carrying additional term life insurance through their employer when they have sufficient life insurance outside of work.
Annual Goal Setting/Review
During your initial meetings with a potential client, you will be digging deep to find out more about their passion and goals. The financial plan you craft together should help them reach those goals, but things can and do change over time.
Revisiting goals (like their ideal retirement date, frequency of travel, desire to open their own business, and so forth) is key to lifelong relationships with clients.
Maybe your client had a child -- that changes things. Maybe they changed industries at work -- that changes things. Maybe they retired early, moved to a tropical paradise, and are drawing down funds while learning to scuba dive -- that changes things!
While oftentimes you’ll be in the know as these things happen, having a dedicated time at your annual review to focus on your client’s unique life goals and shifting priorities will keep you both striving toward them together.
These are, of course, only a few ways to work with clients during your financial relationship. No matter what you do, having a regular, comprehensive cadence of services can help you and your clients stay on track.
Finally, as you consider incorporating some new fee-for-service offerings, be sure to check out AdvicePay’s fee calculator (especially the complexity-based template) to help you determine a pricing structure that works for the services you provide!
Ready to Try AdvicePay?
Financial planning can be a complex business that calls for unique, flexible, and reliable solutions for each unique client you serve.
You can integrate AdvicePay in big or little ways, for some or all of your services. No matter how you put us to work, we can make a big difference!
Posted by Honor Randall
Honor is excited to help AdvicePay users make the most out of our platform to help expand their businesses. Having worked in the financial industry for five years, Honor has considerable experience assisting financial advisors as a paraplanner. When she’s not helping enterprises implement AdvicePay into their business, you can find Honor running, cooking, and exploring National Parks with her husband.